Camping with your dog at Wingello State Forest

Planning for a weekend escape with your BFF (of course, we mean your pup!)? With careful preparation, camping with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and pupper! Imagine waking up to the peaceful sounds of nature, and hitting the trails together with pup while enjoying a breath of fresh air. What can be better than that?

As dogs are not allowed in most national parks in Australia, you can opt for state forests for an ideal camping spot with your dog. For those of you in or near the Sydney area, we recommend you to check out Wingello State Forest. Surrounded by pine trees, the main campground offers a tranquil setting that allows you and pup to relax. It’s just around an hour’s drive from Sydney, and it’s free to camp in!

Things to know

Before you get packing for your trip, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Accessibility

  • There is a main campground in the area with toilets, and there are even more campsites if you travel farther in the woods. If you do this, make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle it. There is 2WD and 4WD access.
  • Parking is located just north of Gulph Road (please see the map down below).

Timing

  • The most crowded weekends are near Christmas time and around any other public holiday, so plan accordingly!
  • Before you go, check with the Forestry Corporation about any park closures.
  • Because forest conditions can change rapidly, closures can happen at any time.

Facilities

  • Facilities are minimal. If you’re staying overnight, bring literally everything with you that you and pup will need.
  • Toilet paper is provided at the drop toilets, but bring your own just in case!
  • There is no drinking or washing water available so make sure you bring plenty for both yourself and your dog.

Rules

  • Campfires are not permitted year-round. Check with the Forestry Corporation for the latest information.
  • There are NO leash rules within the forest!

Safety

  • Wingello State Forest is an active logging area, so be careful of ongoing logging procedures and trucks.

Wingello State Forest features

  • Space for camping and picnics: Yes. Whether you want to camp in a tent or trailer, there’s plenty of open space to set up your weekend retreat.
  • Walking trails: Yes. There are many walking and mountain bike trails in the forest—everything is dog-friendly. But, anyone walking on a trail is advised to be aware of bikers.
  • Designated horse-riding track: Yes
  • Kayaking, swimming, and fishing: No
  • Cabins or shelter: No
  • General store: Yes
  • Barbecue: Yes
  • Vehicle access: Yes
  • Picnic area: No
  • Toilets: Yes (maintained by staff)
  • Hunting: No
  • Lookout spots: No
  • Wheelchair access: No

Wingello State Forest map

Source: Forestry Corporation

Check out this map to learn more about trail locations and facilities.

Going for a walk: If you come to Wingello State Forest and want to take an adventurous walk with your pup, we suggest walking along Running Creek or the Blue MTB Trail. The Blue trail is the shortest of all the MTB trails, at 7km in length.

If you and pupper are looking for something a bit more exciting, try the Yellow Trail. It’s 18km in length and ventures into native forest, unlike the Blue Trail, which only stays within the Pines.

If you’re visiting Wingello State Forest while there is a mountain biking event, we recommend avoiding MTB trails as they may be too crowded and could put you or pupper in danger.


Your next outdoor retreat with your pup is closer than you think!


If you and your dog love spending time outdoors, Wingello State Forest could be the perfect destination for a weekend camping with your dog. All of the open space allows you to sit back and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. No need to feel stuck in the city.